Mavs capture first crown
MIAMI - For Dirk Nowitzki, the résumé is complete. He's an NBA champion. For LeBron James, the agonizing wait continues for at least one more year. Avenging what happened five years ago in perfect turnabout style, the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title by winning Game 6 of these finals in Miami 105-95 on Sunday night — celebrating on the Heat's home floor, just as Dwyane Wade and his team did to them in the 2006 title series. Jason Terry scored 27 points, Nowitzki added 21 for Dallas. The Mavericks won four of the series' last five games, a turnabout that could not have been sweeter after seeing the Heat celebrate their first title in Dallas after Game 6 of the 2006 finals."Tonight," Terry said, "we got vindication." James did not. Not even close, and a year unlike any other ended they way they all have so far — with him still waiting for an NBA title. He scored 21 points for Miami, shook a few hands afterward, and departed before most of the Mavs tugged on their championship hats and T-shirts. Chris Bosh had 19, Mario Chalmers 18 and Dwyane Wade 17 for the Heat. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle joined a highly elite group, those with NBA titles as both a player and a head coach. Only 10 other men are on that list, including the presumably retired-for-good Phil Jackson, one of Carlisle's mentors in K.C. Jones, and Heat President Pat Riley — who led Miami past Dallas in 2006, and was the mastermind of what the Heat did last summer by getting James, Wade and Bosh on the same team with an eye on becoming a dynasty. Dallas took control in the second half after some wild back-and-forths in the opening two quarters. Miami took its last lead of the game — the season — just 64 seconds into the second half, lost it 16 seconds later and chased the Mavericks the rest of the way. They never caught them. Jason Kidd, at 38 years old, got his first championship. Nowitzki got his at 32, Terry at 33. They were featured on the video screen in their building in Dallas during this series on what seemed like a constant loop, each posing with the NBA trophy and looking longingly at it, standing mere inches from it, as if to say "so close, yet so far away." No more. It's theirs.
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